August 16, 2022

Missoula attorney Datsopoulos remaining authorized legacy | Area Information

Missoula lawyer Milton Datsopoulos, whose lawful vocation dealt with difficulties ranging from university student malfeasance to the core of Montana’s mining economic system, has died at 81.

“My sons Kyle and Kevin and their close friends again in superior college would usually say, ‘if you are responsible, contact Milty,” mentioned Dennis Washington, founder of The Washington Corporations, who regarded Datsopoulos his closest buddy for 60 many years. They also had a enterprise romance that assisted catapult Washington Providers from a Missoula-dependent construction company to a multinational corporate business.

Evan Barrett of Butte remembers that Datsopoulos performed a pivotal function as an adviser and confidante to Washington when Washington Corporations purchased Butte’s most important copper mine from ARCO in 1985. The mine turned Montana Resources and proceeds to function as a essential contributor to the regional overall economy.

ARCO had shut down the mines in Butte and instances have been grim, Barrett claimed. Datsopoulos aided facilitate and also participated in a conference at his home in Missoula in August 1985. Men and women joining the discussion about the probable mine buy incorporated Washington, Barrett, Don Peoples Sr., U.S. Sen. John Melcher and Gov. Ted Schwinden. 

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Datsopoulos was also instrumental in promotions to convey the Butte Drinking water Business into public possession and Washington Companies’ acquisition of Montana Rail Website link.

Datsopoulos died March 12. He was born in Missoula and attended Sentinel Substantial Faculty and the College of Montana. He graduated from the UM Regulation College with honors in 1965. 

Barrett reported Datsopoulos was highly regarded by Larry Elison, his previous regulation professor at the University of Montana.

“(Elison) said Milt was the most outstanding pupil he at any time experienced,” Barrett said.

Datsopoulos fashioned his own regulation business in 1974, which eventually turned known as Datsopoulos, MacDonald and Lind P.C. There, he represented a broad variety of superior-profile, indigent and controversial purchasers.

He served as legal professional for a team of plaintiffs who accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena around a long time of sexual abuse, ensuing in a 2015 settlement for $20 million and commitments by the church to establish whistleblower security procedures.

That exact year, he defended former College of Montana Grizzly soccer participant Beau Donaldson in a rape situation, in which Donaldson pleaded guilty.

Relatives associates mentioned his fondness for holding court after function at Missoula’s Stockman’s Bar on Entrance Road, where by “Milt was the only individual to have his have button on the Stockman’s Bar hard cash sign-up.” Missoula attorney and Washington Basis Government Director Mike Halligan recalled functioning into Datsopoulos there on an afternoon shortly after Halligan experienced left the point out Legislature in 2003.

“He requested, ‘How come you have not applied for the governing administration affairs at Washington Corp? You really should implement.’” Halligan reported. “I’d under no circumstances labored at a corporation — just as a non-public lawyer or at the courthouse. He reported, ‘I’m heading to chat to Denny and have him get a glance at you.’ At age of 52, it is tough to get a job out right here. I know his advice meant a ton.”

The Datsopoulos relatives reveled in his colorful particular lifestyle, noting, “All his life, he drove Jaguars, but he hardly ever minded if they have been stolen, which they ended up far more often than you can count on your fingers.” He taken care of a appreciate of genuine Greek feta cheese, Scotch whisky, Frank Sinatra and the UM Grizzlies athletics groups. In lieu of flowers, the family members requests donations in Milt’s name to the Grizzly Scholarship Association. Milt’s provider will be held on March 26, 2022, at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church at 130 South Sixth Street East in Missoula. On line condolences may perhaps be left at

Duncan Adams contributed to this tale.

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